When most people think of BBQ’s, the first thought that comes to mind is fatty meats, greasy appetizers, sugary desserts and calorie-loaded drinks. How are you supposed to stick to your diet when you’re hosting one? Or attending one? But there are many delicious, healthy alternatives that will leave you and your guests full, yet feeling satisfied. For your next BBQ cook up some of these delicious meals, or bring some to your next BBQ. Inspire others to cook & eat healthy, too.
I always tell people to pick their poison. If you can only eat your Aunt Bertha’s delicious potato salad once a year at the family BBQ, eat it. But, don’t choose things that you can get all the time, like chips, store bought macaroni salad, the typical hot dog, etc. Also, eat a little before you go. I hate arriving at someone’s home starving, and there’s no food to be found for the first hour except a bowl of cheese doodles. Right? Eat a small, healthy snack before you go and then choose your menu items carefully.
Instead of the usual burgers, hot dogs, sausages, and the classic potato and macaroni salads, why not come up with some new ideas?
- Grill chicken breasts or thighs.
- You can try turkey fillets, and all kinds of fish like salmon, swordfish, and shrimp.
- Start a new trend. Buy a few bison or turkey burgers or turkey tenderloins. Cook them up and then cut into pieces and serve with toothpicks for your guests to sample—they might have it at their next BBQ.
Kabobs are easy and you can be as creative as you like. Anything goes. Look in your fridge and see what you have lying around:
- Meat: Chicken, steak, salmon, swordfish, shrimp, even Tofu!
- Veggies: Cherry tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, button mushrooms.
- Fruit: Pineapple, peaches, nectarines, apples.
You can throw them directly on the grill. Just spray the grill with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray.
- Ever try roasted Cauliflower or grilled asparagus?
- Roast corn on the cob, whole portobello mushrooms, and even eggplant.
- Cut a vidalia onion in half and cook face down.
- Slice sweet potatoes in half and do the same.
Want a great, delicious, nutritious, low-cal dessert? How do these look? Grill fruit kabobs on the grill as well.
- You can even grill whole pineapple slices or bananas in their skins on the BBQ.
- Make a mixed rainbow-colored fruit salad for dessert with: strawberries, mandarin oranges, mangoes, green grapes and blueberries.
- Make angel food cake with fresh berries and whipped cream.
Make fresh spinach salads, 3 bean salads, or a Quinoa salad. Quinoa looks like couscous but is high in protein and fiber. Simply cook as you would for rice. Add a can of rinsed black beans, cherry tomatoes and chopped scallions. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and cilantro and voila!
Here’s my favorite Quinoa recipe: Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, and Gouda: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/quinoa-salad-apples-walnuts-dried-cranberries-gouda.aspx
The trick is a lot of food, not a lot of calories! Remember, the real reason you’re there is to enjoy the company and catch up with family and friends. Not to stuff yourself with thousands of unhealthy calories. Then I’ll have to hear it the next day with: “What do you think about this new Detox Cleanse I heard about.” Ugh. If you ate healthy people, you wouldn’t need to cleanse! (Hee hee)
Want more great BBQ Tips? Check out this FREE Webinar by Guiding Stars – “Healthy Grilling”
So, what do you think? What will you try at your next BBQ? What was your favorite idea on here? Any others to add?
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